« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
or dry weather, commences in February, and winter, or rainy weather, begins in May. The rains are not constant, at times there being none for weeks.
Health.-In general, the climate of Venezuela is salubrious, except in some of the warm, low, and damp sections, such as Rio Chico, Unare, Barcelona, Güiria, and the banks of the Orinoco, which are merely apt to be unhealthy at the fall of the waters at the end of the year.
An idea of the climate and good health to be enjoyed may be derived from the following data and statistics of the salubrity of Caracas, the capital of the Republic.
According to the census, Caracas contains a population of fifty thousand, (50,000.) of which one-fifth is foreign.
The deaths, during the four months from January to April of the year 1857 were :
Venezuelans, 261; Puerto Riquenos, 1 ; New Granadians, 2; Canary Islanders, 7; and Europeans, 3 ; total, 274. The three Europeans wereSpanish, 2; and English 1; and one of these was a man of 70 years of age, and another was a widow of 93.
GOVERNMENT.—The government of Venezuela is republican, democratic with representation, responsibility, and the rotation system is carried out in regard to public functionaries. It is divided thus :- Legislative, consisting of two chambers; E.cecutive—there being a President chosen for six years, together with ministers and governors of provinces; Judicialconsisting of a Supreme Court, Superior Court, and Judges of " primera instancia ;" and Municipal—the duties of which are performed by councils in each canton. Strangers, of whatever nation, are admitted into Venezuela, subject to the same laws as Venezuelans, and enjoying the same privileges.
Religion.—The government professes the Catholic, but the law allows perfect freedom of conscience and worship.
TerritoRIAL Divisions.— The Republic is divided into provinces, cantons, and parishes. According to the last law, the Republic is divided into twenty-one (21) provinces, to wit : Caracas, Aragua, Guárico, Carabobo, Yaracui, Cojedes, Barquisimeto, Portuguesa, Barimas, Trujillo, Coro, Maracaibo, Merida, Tachira, Apure, Guayana, Amazonas, Maturin, Cumaná, Barcelona, and Margarita.
The capital is the city of Caracas, with fifty thousand inhabitants; there is the seat of government, the Supreme Court, and other national bureaus.
POPULATION.—The last census shows it to reach 1,564,433 souls, including the Indians of Guayana and Apure.
Productions.—The agricultural comprise coffee, cacao, indigo, cotton, cocoa-nuts, sugar-cane, and tobacco, which are the principal articles of export; celery, sweet potatoes, plaintains, manioc, lairenes, yams, potatoes, and arrow-root, which constitute the general daily sustenance of the people; rice, corn, millet, and wheat, which are cereals in daily use; bananas of different kinds, used as food ; fustic, Brazil-wood, and cochineal, for dyeing purposes ; eopaiva, thatch, cocoa-nut, and similar productions, from which oils are extracted; hemp and sundry articles from which excellent rope
is manufactured ; India rubber and many other substances suitable for gums and resins; dividive and mangroves for tanning ; Peruvian bark, sarsaparilla, guaco, palma-christi, and many other such, useful
for medicinal purposes ; mahogany, cedar, satinwood, curarire, rosewood, white and black ebony, vera, and quantities of woods much esteemed by cabinet-makers. To the above productions many others might be added.
Mines.—Venezuela possesses copper mines in Aroa, Carúpano, and Caracas; urao mines in Merida ; hard coal in Coro, Maracaibo, La Guayra, and Barcelona; asphaltum in Maracaibo and Pedernales; salt in inexhaustible quantities in all of the eight sea-coast provinces; and various "gold mines” have been reported to the government, as well as silver, lead, and other metals, which it is contemplated to work at an early day.
The TRADES AND Arts. These are beginning to be carried on in Venezuela to a considerable extent, and the trades of carpenters, tailors, shoemakers, coopers, tinsmiths, saddlers, printers, jewelers, and others, with which, twenty years ago, the Venezuelans were but imperfectly acquainted, are now, owing to the arrival of foreigners, much better understood, although native work is still dear or expensive. They are still in want of looms, iron-foundries, and metal works in general. They have as yet no established engravers, stone-cutters, or millers, and they are obliged to use flour imported from the United States, which comes very high, and as wheat bread has become of general daily consumption, this may be looked upon as an article of actual necessity.
Commerce.—The wholesale business of the country is carried on by strong German, French, American, Spanish, and a few Venezuelan houses. The retail trade is chiefly in the hands of native shopkeepers. The imports for 1855 were :$2,275,245 | Provisions......
495,137 Woolen 253,362 Hardware.
256,703 Linen 689,286 Specie and sundries..
197,224 Liquors. 353,515
$6,241,686 To show the development of the resources and products of the country, the following comparative table of exports made in the five years from 1830 to 1835, and from 1850 to 1855, is annexed : Exports.
1,063,641 7,072,745 6,009,104 Cacao...
29,541,490 45,410,952 15,869,462 Iodigo
1,554,139 1,455,276 Coffee
52,557,553 179,248,753 126,691,200 Tobacco.
2,445,558 7,539,649 5,094,091 Cattle..
10,000 6,907,650 6,897,650 Ox hides
320,890 3,010,829 2,689,939 Other skins.
587,712 2,474,667 1,886,955 IMMIGRATION.-Since 1830, when the Republic was organized, there has been a constant immigration of foreigners of all classes and nations, but particularly from the
Canary Islands and from Germany, who have founded a town in the fertile province of Aragua. Immigrants are favored in Venezuela with a special protection and hospitality." The government provides them with necessary lodgings and assistance at the seaports, gives "a fanega" (100 square yards) of land to each and every one of them who shall labor in the country; gives them naturalization papers, entitling them, from the date of their arrival, to all the civil and political rights enjoyed by the natives; and sees that the contracts they make with farmers, agriculturists, or landed proprietors, be such as shall be advan
tageous to the immigrant, and insure to them a profitable and pleasant reception on their arrival. The proprietors, on their part, give to the immigrant a lodging, land to cultivate, some animals--such as cows, hogs, poultry, etc.-gratuitously, until, by their labor and industry, they acquire the means to pay the little they may owe, and become small farmers themselves. It is evident that there is no country better adapted for immigrants, either from Europe or America, than Venezuela, recommended as it is by climate, manners, and customs, and general open armed hospitality. Inhabitants of other climates, who despair of making a living in them, and who labor hard sixteen hours a day, and often lack employment altogether, would make a change undeniably for the better by going to Venezuela, where all the necessaries of life are abundant and cheap, and where but a few hours of daily labor reward him with the produce of a generous soil. Facts bear out the assertion that any stranger coming to Venezuela, in a short time finds his condition materially improved by bis residence and industry there. A considerable portion of the foreigners who have come to the country and made their fortunes there, grateful to it for benefits received and happiness enjoyed, have made it permanently their homes, and become members of the Venezuelan community.
Art. 1.—THE CENSUS SYSTEMS OF CIVILIZED NATIONS.
THBIR GREAT IMPORTANCE, HISTORY, AND GENERAL ADOPTION-HOW CONDUCTED IN DIFFERENT
XATIONS-SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT-DIFFICULTIES IN OBTAINING CORRECT CENSUSRSSPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR STATISTICS OF AGRICULTURE AND MANUFACTURES-BENEFICIAL RESULTS OF COMPLETE CENSUSES.
A full and correct knowledge of national statistics is very important, both in the public and private relations of society. Among the earliest wants of governments has uniformly been, an authentic summary of their social condition and industrial wealth ; nor can the one be improved, or the other increased, without a thorough acquaintance with their actual conditions, and the relations existing between them.
The political economist may construct his beautiful theories upon the production, distribution, and consumption of wealth, and elaborate plausible systems for the advancement of social and individual welfare, but without the support of statistics—the science of facts—the world labored theories become but transcendental speculations, and vanish like the mists of error before the light of truth.
The absence of statistical details in any country must, in a certain degree, characterize its government with tyranny and misrule; while in those countries where statistics have been cultivated, and honored with the essential attributes of precision and authority, we may uniformly trace the progress of social improvement, the equalizing operation of the burdens and the benefits of government, and that salutary tone of moral sentiment which springs from the knowledge that the rights of every class are known and respected. Nor are these facts less essential to the private than the public life of the people; for by their light are afforded the best arguments, the most explicit witnesses of the good or evil tendencies of various plans of local or sectional interest; the expediency or risk of investment
of private or associated capital; the direction of industry in particular channels—and the control of various benevolent, literary, and charitable enterprises, whose success depends in a great degree upon the correctness of the data upon which they are predicated.
We appeal continually to these facts—in public discussions—in parliamentary debates—and in the daily press. However plausible the argument of an opponent, in matters of fact, it can have little weight upon the judgment, if at variance with statistical tables.
We may trace the good and evil fortune of the science of statistics through a period of forty centuries. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, employed operations analogous to the census, to second their wonderful developments of civilization; but, like these, they were swept away by the inundations of barbarism that extinguished the light of knowledge in the middle ages. Upon the revival of literature the knowledge and science of statistics reinained for a long time in the possession of only the learned, and may be said to have been shunned by both princes and people; the one, fearing disclosures of their weakness, and the other dreading its effects as a fiscal agent, to more directly and completely reach the scanty surplus of their industry.
Without the slightest probability of concurrence or interchange of ideas, we notice the plan of an enumeration of the inhabitants by authority of government, originating at a remote period of antiquity, in the two extremes of Asia, and even beyond seas in the New World. The Chinese and the children of Israel, the Mexicans, and the Peruvians, had each their methods of obtaining, not only the number, but the wealth and re. sources of the different classes of their population, and knowing these, they were able to calculate and collect the revenues necessary for the support of the State in peace, and its defense in war.
Alth sugh certain inventories of wealth, resources, and revenues, had been in use in Great Britain from remote periods, it is worthy of remark that the want of correct data for the administration of her colonial dependencies, led the English government to order enumerations on the plan of our modern census in her American colonies, more than a century before a similar enterprise was attempted at home.
These censuses were ordered at irregular intervals, and like those recorded in sacred writ, were founded upon the military capabilities of the country, and designed to afford a knowledge of its effective strength. They were taken by sheriffs and their deputies, under instructions from the governors, and by order of the lords of trade. Making due allowance for want of system and experience, these returns often exhibit evidences of having been made with great care, and they afford invaluable historical data concerning the condition and growth of the several colonies.
The plan of a regular periodical census, as the basis of representation, was adopted in the organic law of the State of New York in 1777, and subsequently, by the general government of the United States in 1789, atfording the first instance in the history of the world at which a regular periodical census was ever instituted. The British government in 1801, commenced a decennial census, which has reached a high state of perfection through the agencies employed during the last twenty years, in the registration of births, deaths, and marriages. The intimate relations between registration and the census, appears to render their union of operations extremely appropriate, as it cannot fail to be eminently successful.
The examples of a census at decennial periods, which we have noticed, have been followed by nearly every nation in Europe, and extended to their colonial possessions. Of the census reports of continental Europe, those of Belgium, France, and Prussia, deserve particular notice from the excellency of their arrangement,
While so many interests depend upon the fulness and reliability of a census, it becomes a matter of solicitude to inquire how these facts can be obtained with the greatest facility and precision. What are the difficulties to be met, and how are they to be surmounted ?
It will be found that an organization that would operate in an old and densely settled country, and under a strongly centralized government, would require essential modifications to adapt it to a new and thinly settled country, in which the governing power was diffused in a corresponding manner. There must necessarily exist in the latter case much diversity of intelligence, customs, and manners, and difficulties from other sources, that would not appear in the former.
The original facts should be obtained, as far as possible, by those who have a personal knowledge of the people they enumerate, who possess the confidence of the public, and who fully understand their duty, and are zealous and conscientious in the discharge of it.
The enumerations made by the direction of the government of the United States, have always been performed by special deputies, appointed by the marshals of the several district courts, wbo often bad large districts assigned to them, and occupied a whole summer in going over them.
In New York, the sheriff's and their deputies, and afterwards special marshals, chosen by the local town officers, reported the census until 1855, when the appointing power was given to the Secretary of State. In making the appointment of the 1,750 persons thus chosen, recourse was had to the aid of personal friends in the several counties, and the system was found to be attended with infinitely more trouble thau benefit.
In Belgium, in 1846, a central commission of statistics, with special commissions in each province, were employed, with numerous local and temporary agents. In France the existing municipal organizations were charged with the duty. The last Canadian census was taken under the Board of Registration and Statistics, having 83 commissioners and 1,073 enumerators subordinate to them.
In general, in the absence of a thoroughly organized and permanent system of registration, the existing municipal and civil officers will be found to be appropriate means for the distribution and collection of instructions, and blanks and special agents with small districts, chosen by local magistrates, and accountable to them for the accuracy of their labors, will be found most efficient for obtaining the original facts.
The whole organization should be under the direction of a central office, and the report of each enumerator should be examined and approved by the local appointing authority, and by the central office, before pay should be allowed.
The compensation should always be pro rata, and sufficient to secure competent and faithful persons in the serpice. The labor of summing up and arranging for the press, should be done entirely under one direction, and in one office.
The time occupied in the enumeration should not exceed, if possible, a single day, to avoid the errors arising from omissions or double entries,